Kingswood @ The Triffid, 21st March
Popping my Triffid cherry tonight, my expectations are super high and I’m not disappointed; The Triffid is a big and, somehow, intimate venue. Without much ado, Brisbane locals The Belligerents take the stage and I realise how perfect the acoustics of The Triffid are too – can this venue do no wrong?! Cropdusting the crowd with their brand of downbeat psychedelic surf tunes The Belligerents bring a ton of passion to the stage, accompanied by some classic and classy Peter Garrett-esque dance moves.
It takes a moment for me to realise that Melburnian sextet Lurch & Chief have started playing, a group who consume the entirety of the stage. For the first few tracks it’s a shame that the engineers lose the backup vocals, because they are gorgeous. Dreamy indie pop soaks the stage and little flourishes reminiscent of Sarah McLachlan rear their head, as the group perform with gusto. Toward the end of their set Lurch & Chief roll out a beautiful reinterpretation of Wicked Game, thanking Chris Isaak himself, before closing their set with a stellar rendition of their own tune, Mother/Father.
The lights fade to bathe the stage in a red hue as the audience crescendos into a raucous applause and Kingswood take the stage. For a fledgling band, with only an EP and an album under their belts, it would seem they’ve achieved rock superstardom as the audience is stirred into a frenzy. Blistering through She’s My Baby, All Too Much and Sucker Punch, Kingswood are relentless, pausing after their face-melting intro only briefly to commend the audience on their beauty and express a heartfelt confession of love. While there was much comparison of Kingswood’s last album to the great Queens of the Stone Age, when played live these songs come completely into their own. Reminiscent of Ozzy-era Black Sabbath, they blaze through breakdowns, making their extended instrumentals feel effortless and gut-wrenching at the same time.
Kingswood must be some of the most polite dudes in rock, consistently using their between-song banter to praise the crowd. They run through a down tempo ICFTYDLM, they hit their stride in Tremor and Eye of the Storm before abruptly leaving the stage, a very early false exit. However, they return and bring with them rageworthy rock in spades. Emerging with Ohio, they follow up with their heavier tom-filled version of First Aid Kit’s Wolf. It’s Medusa that takes the cake though, turning it up to 11, the crowd is absolutely astir but not before Kingswood drop a little homage to the Queens (of the Stone Age), mashing the Medusa solo with QOTSA’s anthemic Feel Good Hit of the Summer, as the audience beg in ‘nicotine, valium, vicodin, marijuana, ecstasy and alcohol’.
Kingswood close up with Piece to Piece and I feel unfulfilled, left salivating for more. The ugly lights come up and it’s with a heavy heart that I realise they won’t be back until tomorrow night.